Former multiple South African National Rally champions, Guy Botterill and co-driver Simon Vacy-Lyle, will be fielding an all-new, locally built and developed Toyota Starlet at the Cape Overberg Rally this weekend. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa crew will be competing in Class NRC1, as they take on the opening two rounds of the championship this weekend.
The new car features a two-litre turbo-charged petrol engine, which drives all four wheels via a sequential gearbox. A Motec engine control unit is used to managed all the electronics, while Reiger dampers and Alcon brakes take care of the suspension and stopping power. The rally Starlet conforms to all the safety standards specified by the FIA.
“We are very excited to finally take the Starlet rallying,” says Botterill of his new steed. “The car has been in development since early last year, and it is fantastic to see the state-of-the-art machine ready to go. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with this car, having fully built and developed the car right here in South Africa.”
The Cape Overberg Rally will take place on the fast and smooth roads in the area surrounding the town of Bredasdorp. This event is known for the high speeds that competitors achieve thanks to the flowing nature of the roads in the area, and has earned the moniker ‘The Overberg Grand Prix’ as a result.
This weekend’s rally consists of eight stages on Friday, 20 May 2022; with seven more following on Saturday. The event will get under way with a 12 km-long stage that kicks off at 10:45 on Friday morning, before winding its way through the surrounding area and drawing to a close late on Saturday afternoon.
“We can’t wait to get under way with the new car,” concludes Botterill. “As with any new car, we expect some teething challenges, but we are confident that we have a solid machine that will be competitive from the very first stage.”
With the new rally Starlet, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA now competes in three race categories with fully local machines: The Corolla in Global Touring Cars (GTC), the Starlet in the NRC, and the mighty Dakar-winning Hilux, which is locally entered in the South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC).
“The Starlet is a key model for us, and taking it rallying gives us the opportunity to market it to the dedicated rally enthusiasts of Southern Africa,” says Glenn Crompton, Vice-President for Marketing Communications at Toyota South Africa Motors. “We wish Guy and Simon the best of luck for this weekend, and hope to see our new Starlet on the podium soon.”